Play: Clean So You CAN Play
I will admit it. While I really love being a stay-at-home mom, and I think I do a pretty good job, I am a terrible, horrible, no-good housewife. Sure, I have spurts when I can get the house looking presentable (usually when a guest visit is imminent) but on a regular basis, my house is wreck. Having a curious and messy toddler doesn’t help, but even without his messes, it still wouldn’t be great.
But I’ve decided that this year, I am going to tackle this. My goal (if you need help making goals for yourself, check out our previous post) for this year is to get the house to the point where I am just maintaining the cleanliness and to learn the habit of daily cleaning/tidying.
Now that sounds great to write out, but the trouble is (and always is) how do I actually do this. There are plenty of ways you could do it, but the way that I have chosen is to do it Fly Lady‘s way. Some of you may have heard of Fly Lady, but if you haven’t and you have a similar goal in mind for your 2012, you might want to check out her site. Her advice is completely free, so there is no risk.
Fly Lady‘s goal is to get us out of CHAOS, which she defines as Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome. Anyone else there with me?
According to Fly Lady, it all begins with a shiny sink. Now this might seem silly, and I was a little skeptical at first, but after doing it, I’m starting to get the reasoning behind it. So on the first day of her baby step program, you empty your sink, clean it thoroughly, and dry it out. (To get full instructions on how to clean it, see here.) You are left with a sparkling sink that is truly a great sight to see the next morning. And with this newly cleaned out and shined up sink, you are not to leave anything in it, not even water droplets. So instead of placing your dirty dishes in the sink for later, you put them directly in the dishwasher. Dishwasher full? Unload it and then place your dirty dishes in it. What a novel concept! It really makes perfect sense but I was still not doing it. I would succumb to the ease of putting things in the sink to worry about later, only to find that when it was later, I was tired or had something else more important to do. And I never wanted to do more than one load at a time or wash by hand, so dishes stayed in the sink and just kept piling on. I’m sorry if this is a bit gruesome for those of you neat freaks out there, but I’m just calling it out it was. <–Do you see I said “was“? I am now sporting a shiny, spotless, empty sink. Don’t believe me, ask the dishes… I mean, check out this picture.
You’ll notice that there are still things around the sink, but I haven’t gotten there yet. I’m only on day two of my baby steps, but I am encouraged that I have been able to keep that sink clear. It may seem silly to focus on one single small area of the house, but I can already see how that little thing is having a domino effect on how I treat everything in the kitchen. I am now putting things away right after I use them and making sure trash ends up in the trash right away. I am really excited about how much more it will continue to grow.
I know this hasn’t be a true play post like our previous ones, but as moms, we can’t ignore that we do indeed have to clean. It’s a part of our lives no matter how much we hate it or ignore it. But if we can get excited over some part of it, it makes doing it not so bad. And think about how amazing it will feel knowing that you can have company over whenever and that you are giving both your children and your guests a safe place to play.
So here’s to cleaning more so that we can play more!
What are some of your resolutions concerning cleaning? How do you make cleaning less of a chore? I’d love to hear your ideas. My house is in need of any and all the help it can get!